From: Larry Chappell <larchap@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sun, 15 Feb 1998 18:04:31 -0600
I am not logically obligated to believe either A or ~A by the law of the
excluded middle. I can say that I do not believe one or the other. Not
believing is not equivalent to affirming either of two contradictory
variables. In this case, I doubt that I have a very good idea what the
variables (matter and idea) mean.Consequently, I am not sure they ARE
contradictory. To the extent that I do have an idea, several options
seem open. (A) I could be a monist: either mind or matter are real and
the polar term is epiphenomenal. Or that both are modes of the really
real thing (Spinoza; maybe Whitehead). (B) I could be a dualist: Both
are really really real- indeed the truly real things (Descartes). (C) I
could be a pluralist: Mind and matter are among the really real things
but do not exhaust the list.(D) I could maintain that either may be
really real, but I cannot know (possibly Kant). To say what I "must"
believe (I assume you mean an option is logically entailed) you need
more to go on than you have.
david wachtfogel wrote:
> Larry Chapell wrote:
> >Is this what Foucault is about? Metaphysical ultimates? We have to
> >choose which sort of pre-Kantian we want to be? No thanks. Think I will
> I have always understood Foucault to be precisely about the non-existence
> of "Metaphysical ultimates", that his project is to show how all such
> ultimates are socially constructed through power discourses.
> To make myself clear, when I wrote that you are either a materialist or
> an idealist, I meant that you either believe that such metaphysical
> ultimates (or extra material realities) exist or you do not believe they
> exist. If I'm not mistaken, that is an immediate result of the law of the
> excluded middle.
> I admit my previous posting was over judgmental, and I hope Randall can
> forgive my arrogant tone. I was in a bad mood. But I do think that
> Foucault's project is part of a larger materialist project. And I think it
> is futile to criticize Foucault from an idealist point of view, as (it
> seems to me) Randall has been doing. The Materialist/Idealist debate is
> an interesting one, but I'm not sure the Foucault list is the most
> fitting place for it.
> -- David W.